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Jenny Holzer (Contemporary Artists) Paperback – November 6, 1998

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Holzer has achieved international stature and will represent the U.S. in the 1990 Biennale at Venice. She adapts mass-marketing media--printed T-shirts, billboards, LED displays--with subversive texts that challenge the authority of these media as well as the messages they transmit; the artist simulates their language and form in order to dislocate her viewers (sample statement: "The family is living on borrowed time"). This catalogue, which accompanies an exhibit at Manhattan's Guggenheim Museum, successfully demonstrates Holzer's varied settings: color and black-and-white photographs show her words emblazoned in unlikely areas, from Times Square to baggage carousels at airports. Unfortunately, Guggenheim deputy director Waldman's artspeak essay will generate no enthusiasm from the unconverted. Similarly, her interview with Holzer is more a showcase for Waldman's expertise than a forum for the artist.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


'The boldest, best executed, and most far-reaching publishing project devoted to contemporary art. These books will revolutionize the way contemporary art is presented and written about.' (Artforum) 'The combination of intelligent analysis, personal insight, useful facts and plentiful pictures is a superb format invaluable for specialists but also interesting for casual readers, it makes these books a must for the library of anyone who cares about contemporary art.' (Time Out) 'A unique series of informative monographs on individual artists.' (The Sunday Times) 'Gives the reader the impression of a personal encounter with the artists. Apart from the writing which is lucid and illuminating, it is undoubtedly the wealth of lavish illustrations which makes looking at these books a satisfying entertainment.' (The Art Book)

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Product Details

  • Series: Contemporary Artists
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (November 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714837547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714837543
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 0.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Barenblat on February 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
The book listed on this page, a monograph on Jenny Holzer by Phaidon Press, is fabulous. It contains information on Holzer's wide and influential art career, from her Truisms posters of the 'seventies to her electronic LED signs, carved stone benches, and virtual art pieces of the 'nineties.
This book is also unique, within the Holzer bibliography, because of the "Artist's Choice" section where Holzer provides excerpts from books and writings that have influenced her, along with explanations of why she's moved by them.
If you're interested in modern art, or women artists, this is a must-read
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Enigmatic Mermaid on February 24, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Have you ever stopped to think how many times we are bombarded by truisms everyday? Get this book and you will get a clue. In the Truisms series over exposure to banality reveals how numbed out we all are. Take a cliche like "Children are the hope to the future" and place beside "Children are the most cruel of all". We say and repeat these truisms but do we really realize that they are empty in themselves ? Do we perceive the contradictions ? How we mold reality to suit our needs ? Truisms sooth us with the cushioned feeling of the "generally accepted truth". Jenny Holzer literally splashes intimate thoughts, truisms, activist slogans over the landscape. These truths, half-truths and huge lies stare out at us in billboards, park benches like a conscience made physical. This is art made on the very border of reality and language.
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